Often called the “enfant terrible” of Parisian haute couture, designer Jean Paul Gaultier has cemented his place in fashion history with his penchant for audacious silhouettes. The man behind Madonna’s 1990s-era cone bras, Gaultier has dressed men in skirts, women in grass bustiers, and both sexes in outrageous outfits inspired by bondage culture. Yet Gaultier is also known for his elegant everyday clothes and accessories — think cheeky trompe l’oeil knits, impeccably tailored pleated skirts, classic cardigans and belted jackets, sleek eyewear and shoes, and regal Gothic velvet pieces. Aside from working on his own line, Gaultier has collaborated with Puig on several designer perfumes and colognes (Classique and Madame for women, Kokorico and Le Mâle for men) and with La Perla on a collection of women’s lingerie. For most of the aughts he served as the creative director of Hermès, fusing his irreverent style with the prestigious fashion house’s refined glamour.
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If you’re in need of a new LBD this season, invest in one these sophisticated styles by covetable designer names like Vivienne Westwood, Derek Lam, and Calvin Klein Collection. While classic black is universally flatter, it’s the elegant details that really make these dresses stand out: Think flutter kimono sleeves, asymmetrical ruffles, and fringed hemlines.
What better way to say "I mean business" than with a perfectly polished dress to welcome the chillier months at the office? Stick with something professional — but never boring! —by keeping your hemline and neckline appropriate, then get playful with the details. The same easy piece can take you from a major presentation to a post-work cocktail if you play your styling cards right. Check out my advice for making the most of your work dress, then shop the sale below to be perfectly outfitted all season long.